European Diversity Cereal Festival – Report

Just travelling the slow iron road (train) back to Scotland from Aarhus in Denmark, where over the last few days I’ve been on a micro adventure to the European Diversity Cereal Festival.

The three day festival was held at Kalø, the only organic Agricultural College in Denmark. Kalø is located in a rural setting on the edge of a forest and close to the sea, three kilometres from Rønde, and thirty kilometres from Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark. The festival was a melting pot of workshops, demonstrations, local food, sunset walks and star-lit swims; and through it all was weaved that shared common purpose of changing the way we do grain. 

It was a really worthwhile learning and sharing event for me as a highland crofter seeking to re-discover “crofters corn” as many of the participants were from our Nordic neighbours (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden). I was struck by how small farmers across these countries share many a trait with the crofter and croft in our highland townships – topography, climate, food and culture. The difference – they still do grain.

I’m getting closer to that illusive slice of dark highland rye bread, with suitcase stashed with two varieties of Tvensberg rye seed from our Nordic neighbours (Norway and Finland)…the work to re-vive a highland population of cereal rye continues…

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